I, Evan Broder, apply for MOTU.


Evan Broder

Launchpad Page

Who I am

I'm Evan Broder. I'm currently a senior at MIT. I do computer systems engineering for fun, and occasionally I still like to pretend that I'm actually an electrical engineer. Within computer systems, I do a lot of work with virtualization.

My Ubuntu story

I've been using Ubuntu on my personal servers for years. I'm pretty sure I started with Breezy, although I don't remember for sure. Since then I've run servers with every version from Dapper to Jaunty. I started contributing to Ubuntu through backports, since many of my servers are still running Hardy (for Xen support). I had a few very good experiences working with members of the backporters team, which encouraged me to spend effort on some Xen-related bugs as well as some bugs that were affecting the Debathena project, a Debian/Ubuntu Policy-compliant packaging of the MIT Athena environment for Debian/Ubuntu.

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

Within Ubuntu:

Outside of Ubuntu, I'm also very proud of the work I've done with Debathena. We recently deployed Debathena and Ubuntu to the 300 public community workstations at MIT. Debathena has a continuous release cycle - we make changes to any package at any time across all of our supported distributions. I spearheaded our current release engineering and QA procedures, and I think they've done a good job of keeping the "production" Debathena packages very stable across a lot of changes.

Areas of work

In general, I tend to focus on problems that either affect me directly or indirectly. Frequently this means dealing with bugs that are reported to us as part of our campus Ubuntu deployment. As a result I tend to look at a lot of different packages, but tend to focus on the packages that form the core of these services, so krb5, openafs, zephyr, xen, and remctl.

Things I could do better

I had an opportunity this summer to learn a lot about how D-Bus. I thought it was really interesting, and I'd like to have a better understanding of how the modern Linux desktop works - X, DeviceKit, PolicyKit, ConsoleKit, Upstart, stuff like that.

Also, as part of Debathena, we tend to run into a lot of bugs in Ubuntu, and we should do a better job of reporting and fixing these bugs in Ubuntu instead of just working around them in our own packages.

Finally, I know everybody says this, but it is true for me too. It's way too easy to get complacent and not test builds, or even build but not test the results. It's bitten me a few times, and I should be more careful.

Plans for the future

Primarily, I plan to just keep fixing bugs that affect me and the deployments I care about. I'm also hoping to get more involved in the sponsorship queues, and maybe try to become a member of the SRU or backports teams.

What I like least in Ubuntu

For me, the most frustrating part of contributing to Ubuntu is the sponsorship process. As somebody lacking the bits to effect changes directly, it's hard to continue contributing patches when patches you've already submitted lay untouched for months at a time.

I think that improving the sponsorship process is key to keeping fringe contributors involved in Ubuntu, and I think the MOTU community needs to collectively buckle down and agree to pressure each other to spend more time on sponsoring other people's patches. To that end, if my MOTU application is approved, I'm making it a personal goal to help massage and upload somebody else's fix for every fix of my own that I upload.


If you'd like to comment, but are not the applicant or a sponsor, do it here. Don't forget to sign with @SIG@.


As a sponsor, just copy the template below, fill it out and add it to this section.

Daniel Holbach (dholbach)

General feedback

I seem to have uploaded one patch of Evan, but I remember having looked over a few more bugs of his and I was impressed with his good work.

Specific Experiences of working together

Areas of Improvement

None I can think of from my experience. Maybe help out with sponsoring? Smile :-)

Jordan Mantha (LaserJock)

General feedback

I sponsored a patch from Evan for the Ubuntu Global Jam. I've seen him around the community off-and-on and from my limited experience he seems technical adept, a team player, and a solid asset to the community.

Specific Experiences of working together

I sponsored:

This was a pretty simple case of integrating an upstream patch. Evan was very responsive to my questions and had already done a significant amount of testing prior to asking for sponsorship. He made good use of his PPA for testing and was nicely descriptive in his changelog and patch.

Areas of Improvement

None that I can think of as I only had the one specific interaction.

Bryce Harrington

General feedback

Specific Experiences of working together

I sponsored with Evan. I was concerned xen was going to be a difficult sponsoring effort, but actually there was no muss, no fuss, and in fact it went so cleanly we were able to get the fixes SRU'd to several past releases.

Areas of Improvement

Just please keep contributing!

Martin Pitt

General feedback

I sponsored a handful of packages for him, I mostly know his name from SRUs. It's great to see people applying important patches to stable releases! Most of those updates were fairly simple in the packaging sense, but required upstream research, bug forwarding/handling, knowing how to apply patches to packages, etc. All of those were handled very well by Evan.

So I can't really vouch for his experience with packaging (I didn't see complex merges/new packages from him), but I would be happy to see him able to upload more fixes to Ubuntu.

Specific Experiences of working together

Areas of Improvement

Keep up the good work!


=== General feedback ===
## Please fill us in on your shared experience. (How many packages did you sponsor? How would you judge the quality? How would you describe the improvements? Do you trust the applicant?)

=== Specific Experiences of working together ===
''Please add good examples of your work together, but also cases that could have handled better.''
=== Areas of Improvement ===


EvanBroder/MOTUApplication (last edited 2009-11-13 09:16:18 by pD9EB4591)